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Unnecessary Cardiac Defibrillator Installed

A woman has been awarded $1.75 million dollars by a Jefferson County Circuit Court in a medical malpractice case after deliberating for approximately three hours.

According to court documents, Angela Thornton filed suit against Dr. Shabir Dharamsey, alleging that he implanted an internal cardiac defibrillator that was medically unnecessary.

Attorneys for the plaintiff asserted that Thornton did not have any previous history of a heart condition or a cardiac condition that would require her to have the device implanted at the time of the surgery which took place in November 2010.

According to the court filing, Thornton went to the Cardiac and Vascular Center of Arkansas for chest pain in February 2010 and was seen by Dharamsey and, at that time, was determined to have a weak heart. McKissic said Dharamsey ran echo cardiogram on Thornton two days later in order to confirm the diagnosis of a weak heart in September of 2010. The results of the test came back that Thornton’s heart was normal and that she was healthy both before and after the tests. In spite of the findings of the tests, the doctor continued to recommend treatment.

Thornton was admitted to Jefferson Regional Medical Center on November 11, 2010, where Dr. Dharamsey implanted an automatic internal cardiac defibrillator in her.

After having the device implanted inside her for a number years, court experts indicated in the filing that any attempts to remove the device could result in Thornton’s death.

Cardiologists Dr. Morton Rinder of St. Louis and Dr. Heather Bloom, an associate professor at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia, both testified that in their examination of the case Thornton did not have heart disease when the device was implanted in her.

Both testified that they examined records from the case and that Thornton did not have heart disease when the device was installed.

The jury’s verdict and award for the plaintiff was for compensatory damages only. There were no punitive damages awarded.

Every patient under a doctor’s care has the right to expect a certain standard of care in their treatment. Doctors and medical professionals must adhere to this standard of care. However, there are times when a physician or surgeon will deviate from that standard. That is when incidents of malpractice can occur.

At Bottar Leone, PLLC, our medical malpractice and medical negligence attorneys have represented thousands of patients and their families from all walks of life for nearly 30 years in the State of New York. Contact us today.